Building the net zero home

Submitted by digital on Mon, 10/05/2015 - 15:47
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{"version":"0.3.0","atoms":[],"cards":[],"markups":[["a",["href","http:\/\/fortune.com\/2015\/08\/18\/young-people-can-afford-homes-they-just-dont-want-to-be-homeowners\/","target","_new"]],["a",["href","http:\/\/info.houzz.com\/rs\/houzz\/images\/Houzz%26Home2014_U.S..pdf","target","_new"]],["a",["href","http:\/\/www.acredesigns.com\/","target","_new"]],["a",["href","https:\/\/www.indiegogo.com\/projects\/acre-zero-energy-prototype-home\/#\/story","target","_new"]],["a",["href","http:\/\/www.architectmagazine.com\/aia-architect\/aiaknowledge\/sustainability-becoming-quality_o","target","_new"]],["a",["href","http:\/\/network.aia.org\/2030commitment\/home","target","_new"]],["a",["href","http:\/\/www.aia.org\/practicing\/materials\/index.htm","target","_new"]],["em"],["a",["href","https:\/\/fiber.google.com\/cities\/kansascity\/","target","_new"]],["a",["href","http:\/\/www.acredesigns.com\/axiom\/","target","_new"]],["a",["href","https:\/\/www.indiegogo.com\/projects\/acre-zero-energy-prototype-home#\/story","target","_new"]]],"sections":[[1,"h2",[[0,[],0,"The\nAxiom House is demonstrating just how accessible efficiency can be"]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"Buying a home used to be a big step on the road to the American Dream, but it\u0027s become both "],[0,[0],1,"a fear and a hassle"],[0,[],0,". While optimism about the housing market in general "],[0,[1],1,"continues to rise"],[0,[],0,", many people aren\u0027t ready to assume the massive mortgage and expensive utility costs that come with a few acres and a picket fence."]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"That\u0027s not even mentioning the design flaws: While many casual consumers wouldn\u0027t be able to pick a well-designed house out of a lineup, most homes don\u0027t go through any sort of residential design process. What\u0027s worked before is reapplied again and again, even if it\u0027s not fulfilling a homeowner\u0027s needs."]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"All this is to say that there\u0027s an opening in the marketplace for a smartly planned home that\u0027s both reasonably priced and efficient, one that "],[0,[2],1,"Acre Designs"],[0,[],0," of Kansas City, Kan., is aiming to fill."]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"Acre was founded by Andrew Dickson and his wife, Jennifer Dickson, Assoc. AIA, with the goal of producing carefully constructed homes for a new wave of consumers. The Dicksons noticed that their own home, rather than fulfilling a dream, was costing them an outrageous amount in upkeep and utilities. Even more so, it wasn\u0027t the home they always wanted; it\u0027s what was available at the time."]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"\u201cA home is often our most expensive purchase and our largest asset,\u201d says Andrew Dickson. \u201cFor most people, though, it\u0027s the least designed.\u201d"]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"Enter Axiom House. It\u0027s a 1,800-square-foot test home from Acre that the company is looking to fund partly through the crowdfunding platform "],[0,[3],1,"Indiegogo"],[0,[],0,". Axiom was planned and built for the homeowner, from both a visual and an efficiency standpoint. Each of its six floor-plan configurations achieves net zero status, using passive solar principles and a solar panel array to ensure zero energy bills for its residents\u2014and they can all be built in 60 percent of the time it takes to construct a traditional home."]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"Dickson\u0027s message is clear: Rather than fall back on the poor planning and excess that created energy crises and market collapses, take advantage of cheaper photovoltaic panels and modular wall systems, and make your long-term investment worthwhile."]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"\u201cPre-2008 this wouldn\u0027t have been possible,\u201d he says. \u201cSolar was too expensive and people only wanted bigger, bigger, bigger; no one was worried about efficiency.\u201d"]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"But in 2015, when sustainability has become more than just an "],[0,[4],1,"oft-discussed buzzword"],[0,[],0,", the time may be right for Acre. The "],[0,[5],1,"AIA 2030 Commitment"],[0,[],0," received a record number of participating firms and project data for 2014, and the conversation around the "],[0,[6],1,"impact of materials has never been louder"],[0,[],0,". Energy efficiency, crowdfunding, net zero: These are the rallying cries of the next generation, and that\u0027s who Acre wants to serve."]]],[1,"blockquote",[[0,[],0,"\u0022Pre-2008...solar was too expensive and people only wanted bigger, bigger, bigger; no one was worried about efficiency.\u0022 "],[0,[7],1,"- "],[0,[],0,"Jennifer Dickson, Assoc. AIA"]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"\u201cThrough Indiegogo, we\u0027re trying to start the conversation with young people before they make mistakes,\u201d Dickson says, \u201cbefore they lock into a mortgage that shapes their lives. We want to offer them the opportunity to take a chance on something that is much more beneficial long-term, and more interesting.\u201d"]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"They may have chosen the right place to start. Kansas City has become a hub of entrepreneurship and technology; as the first city to "],[0,[8],1,"receive Google Fiber"],[0,[],0,", it\u0027s drawn an influx of burgeoning tycoons from around the world like moths to a flame. Couple that with its reasonable home prices and more room for development than either of the coasts and you\u0027ve got a relatively blank slate upon which to begin a project this ambitious."]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"If the work in Kansas City goes as smoothly as Dickson hopes\u2014Axiom House should be completed in the summer of 2016\u2014Acre is looking toward Austin, Texas, and Boulder, Colo., for its next batch of homes. Dickson knows that climate and the marketplace will play a role in how efficient these homes remain, and how many they\u0027re able to build. He\u0027s confident, though, that Acre is embarking on this endeavor just as the tide is about to turn."]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"\u201cThe customers are ready, the technology is ready, the prices almost match,\u201d he says, \u201cand efficiency legislation and energy prices are moving the needle. If we can hit our targets at building at\u2014or slightly under\u2014standard construction prices, plus slightly smaller homes, it becomes a no-brainer.\u201d"]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"For more on Axiom House, visit the "],[0,[9],1,"Acre Designs homepage"],[0,[],0,". Their "],[0,[10],1,"Indiegogo campaign"],[0,[],0," runs until October 16."]]],[1,"p",[[0,[7],1,"Steve Cimino is the digital content manager at the AIA."]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"\n\n\n\n\n\n"]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"\n\n\n\n\n\n"]]]]}
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Acre Designs in Kansas City is trying to bring energy efficiency to residential design.
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A rendering of Axiom House, Acre's prototype net zero home that's currently being crowdfunded on Indiegogo.
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